Sunday, September 28, 2008


A 20th-century industrial midden north of Gig Harbor. Every piece of concrete on this site has a history - some came from railroad bridges in Tacoma, some from piers in Ferndale and Anacortes, some from old ferry terminals. Now the concrete lego blocks are holding together the edges of a large fill built at the base of the bluffs in the early 1950s, along a landslide-prone shoreline now blistering under the influence of large subdivisions creeping north from Tacoma.

A series of groins made from sandstone blocks and construction rubble trap or divert the southerly drift, creating several small pocket beaches. Although most of the storms come out of the south, the biggest fetch is straight down Colvos Passage from the north and that's where the biggest waves come from and what controls net drift. The bluffs immediately south of this site are eroding rapidly, the expected downdrift result of this heavily modified shoreline. Efforts underway to clean up the site stem the chemical seepage, but do relatively little to restore the beach or the shoreline itself.

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